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[en] Technology roadmapping is a needs-driven technology planning process to help identify, select, and develop technology alternatives to satisfy a set of market needs. The DOE's Office of Power Technologies' Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) Program recently sponsored a technology roadmapping workshop for parabolic trough technology. The workshop was attended by an impressive cross section of industry and research experts. The goals of the workshop were to evaluate the market potential for trough power projects, develop a better understanding of the current state of the technology, and to develop a conceptual plan for advancing the state of parabolic trough technology. This report documents and extends the roadmap that was conceptually developed during the workshop
[en] Concern over the possibility of global climate change as a result of anthropogenic greenhouse gas buildup in the atmosphere is resulting in increased interest in renewable energy technologies. The World Bank recently sponsored a study to determine whether solar thermal power plants can achieve cost parity with conventional power plants. The paper reviews the conclusions of that study
[en] The DISS test facility at the Plataforma Solar de Almeria, Spain, produces high pressure steam directly within the parabolic trough collectors. Two collectors are connected with a U-shaped connection pipe which can suffer under the flow phenomenon of severe slugging at low mass flow operation. The objective is to investigate numerically the flow situations with ATHLET and state the relevance of severe slugging in the installed U-shaped pipes. The simulation results reveal that normal operation conditions are uncritical and no severe slugging can be expected.
[en] Highlights: • Case study for 316 climate station conditions was carried out. • Strong linear dependence on total yearly DNI was found. • Simplified model shows accurate results in 12 latitudes worldwide. - Abstract: This paper proposes a simple method for estimating annual thermal performance of parabolic trough collectors (PTCs) based on a linear relation with annual DNI for a certain latitude. A case study with simulations for a novel concentrating solar collector in 316 locations for three operating temperature scenarios worldwide was carried out and showed promising results for the latitudes and continents investigated. For a certain latitude and mean operating temperature, the annual yield of a PTC was found to be linearly proportional to yearly DNI. The proposed method will serve as a simplified alternative to the steady-state and quasi-dynamic methods already used. Estimating performance based on yearly DNI can be used by design engineers to do quick preliminary planning of solar plants. Customers can also use this method to evaluate existing solar collector installations. A TRNSYS/TRNSED tool that uses a steady-state model has been developed to carry out the simulations and it has been validated against a PTC array at Technical University of Denmark (DTU). The results show that the simplified method can give reliable estimates of long-term performance of parabolic trough collectors.
[en] The commercialization of concentrating solar power technology took a major step forward in the mid 1980s and early 1990s with the development of the SEGS plants in California. Over the years they have proven that parabolic trough power technologies are the most cost-effective approach for commercial scale solar power generation in the sunbelt countries of the world. However, the question must be asked why no additional solar power plants have been build following the bankruptcy of the developer of the SEGS projects, LUZ International Limited. Although many believe the SEGS projects were a success as a result of parabolic trough technology they employ, in truth, the SEGS projects were developed simply because they represented an attractive opportunity for investors. Simply stated, no additional projects have been developed because no one has been able to put together a similarly attractive financial package to potential investors. More than $1.2 billion in private capital was raised in debt and equity financing for the nine SEGS plants. Investors and bankers who make these investments are the real clients for solar power technologies. They are not interested in annual solar to electric efficiencies, but in risk, return on investments, and coverage ratios. This paper will take a look at solar power projects from the financier's perspective. The challenge in moving forward is to attract private investors, commercial lenders, and international development agencies and to find innovative solutions to the difficult issues that investment in the global power market poses for solar power technologies
[en] Highlights: • The prototype of 300-kWth solar parabolic trough collector is tested. • The rotatable axis tracking except for the north-south axis is adopted. • Adopting rotatable axis tracking reduces the daily average cosine loss by 10.3% • The experimentally efficiency of the solar collector is reached by 40% in winter. • Adopting rotatable axis tracking enhances average collector efficiency by 5.0% - Abstract: The concentrating solar power is a promising technology for scalable solar electricity. The conversion of concentrated sunlight into heat is of paramount importance in the concentrating solar power. The current commercial parabolic trough collector has an annual average efficiency of approximately 50%, and the poor efficiency mainly results from the cosine loss. In this paper, a 300-kWth solar parabolic trough collector with north-south and rotatable axis tracking is originally presented. The rotatable steel-support frame and the slide rail can achieve the horizontal rotation of the parabolic trough collector. The rotation of the collector can change the surface azimuth angle of the collector, further reducing the solar incidence angle and thus reducing the cosine loss. Two patterns of tracking are adopted in this prototype. In summer, the solar incidence angle is small, and the north-south axis tracking is adopted. In winter, the solar incidence angle is large, and the cosine loss is serious, so using the rotatable axis tracking enables more solar irradiation to be harvested. The experimental results show that, by using the rotatable axis tracking, the daily average efficiency can be enhanced from 43% to 48% in winter. This study provides a promising approach for effectively reducing the cosine loss for the scalable parabolic trough collector, providing the possibility of improving the annual average collector efficiency and realizing cost-effective solar energy use.
[en] Until 2010, solar thermal power stations based on parabolic trough concentrating collectors can become a competitive option on the world's electricity market, if the market extension of this mature technology is supported by a concerted, long-term programme capable of bundling the forces of industry, finance, insurance and politics. Technical improvements based on the experience of over ten years of successful operation, series production and economies of scale will lead to a further cost reduction of 50% and to electricity costs of 0.06 - 0.04 US$/kWh for hybrid steam cycles and hybrid combined cycles, respectively. Until 2010, a capacity of 7 GW will be installed, avoiding 16 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. The programme comprises an investment of 16 billion US$ and requires external funding of 6%. (author)
[en] Highlights: • The successes of using olive waste/methanol as an adsorbent/adsorbate pair. • The experimental gross cycle coefficient of performance obtained was COPa = 0.75. • Optimization showed expanding adsorbent mass to a certain range increases the COP. • The statistical optimization led to optimum tank volume between 0.2 and 0.3 m3. • Increasing the collector area to a certain range increased the COP. - Abstract: The current work demonstrates a developed model of a solar adsorption refrigeration system with specific requirements and specifications. The recent scheme can be employed as a refrigerator and cooler unit suitable for remote areas. The unit runs through a parabolic trough solar collector (PTC) and uses olive waste as adsorbent with methanol as adsorbate. Cooling production, COP (coefficient of performance, and COPa (cycle gross coefficient of performance) were used to assess the system performance. The system’s design optimum parameters in this study were arrived to through statistical and experimental methods. The lowest temperature attained in the refrigerated space was 4 °C and the equivalent ambient temperature was 27 °C. The temperature started to decrease steadily at 20:30 – when the actual cooling started – until it reached 4 °C at 01:30 in the next day when it rose again. The highest COPa obtained was 0.75
[en] Parabolic trough collectors are made by bending a sheet of reflective material into a parabolic shape. A metal black pipe, covered with a glass tube to reduce heat losses, is placed along the focal line of the collector. The concentrated radiation reaching the receiver tube heats the fluid that circulates through it, thus transforming the solar radiation into useful heat. It is sufficient to use a single axis tracking of the sun and thus long collector modules are produced. In this paper a detailed thermal model of a parabolic trough collector is presented. The thermal analysis of the collector receiver takes into consideration all modes of heat transfer; convection into the receiver pipe, in the annulus between the receiver and the glass cover, and from the glass cover to ambient air; conduction through the metal receiver pipe and glass cover walls; and radiation from the metal receiver pipe and glass cover surfaces to the glass cover and the sky respectively. The model is written in the Engineering Equation Solver (EES) and is validated with known performance of existing collectors and subsequently is used to perform an analysis of the collector we are going to install at Archimedes Solar Energy Laboratory at the Cyprus University of Technology.